Hand-Painted Propaganda Art Lacquer Box from Fedoskino, dated 1951 and signed by the artist Potapov.
Papier-mache, lacquer; outside dimensions are 15.5 cm x 11 cm x 7 cm (approx. 6" x 4 ½ " x 2 ½ "). Brass piano hinge, traditional red painted interior. The nicely executed, detailed artwork features the building of the Smolnyi Institute in Petrograd (Leningrad) that was used as the headquarters by Lenin during the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Marked on the bottom left "Fedoskino", the oldest and perhaps most famous center for such work in Russia, and shows the 1951 date of manufacture. To the right is the signature of the artist "G. Potapov." Nicely decorated with florals along the edges and corners in traditional Russian style.
In good condition. The box has obviously seen many years' use in someone's home or office. There are minor chips to the lacquer at the bottom edge and much less noticeable wear to the corners of the lid, but none of the wear is too detractive. There is no noticeable scratches or scuffs to the top and sides of the box. The artwork in particular is beautifully preserved, its colors unfaded and bright. The box is very sound, the hinge works perfectly, and the lid fits very precisely (the latter is a trademark of the original Fedoskino lacquer boxes that are made of quality materials and unlike modern reproductions, don't warp over time.)
Even though there is no inscription anywhere on or in this box, its obvious quality leads us to think that it was produced by the Fedoskino artisans to be used by someone as a presentation gift.
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